Actuaries in Public Service

Actuaries in Public Service

Craig Reynolds’ article on his experience as an actuary serving in a publicly elected position (“On Public Service,” July/August 2023) clearly showed how the general and specific skills we have as actuaries can benefit our communities.

I was fortunate to be twice elected to my local school board in New Jersey. One of the first issues the newly elected board faced was whether to take advantage of the state’s offer to encourage teachers to retire with an offer to add five years to both age and service in calculating their retirement benefits. The local district would be assessed for each person electing this offer.

In my capacity as chief financial officer for my employer, I had recently estimated the costs for making a similar offer to our employees. I immediately told the school board how expensive this proposal could be, and suggested that we hire an actuarial consulting firm to model the likely costs of such an offer. The school board agreed to this idea; when shown the numbers, we easily concluded that we did not need—nor could afford!—such a generous retirement incentive.

It is not clear what would have happened if I had not been on the school board at that time.

Roy Goldman
Atlantic Beach, Fla.

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